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IDENTITY (DIS)
Vilification to Exploitation
July 20, 2018 Nadeem Rangzeb, Reiss Haidar
In early June 2018, we appeared on BBC Asian Network’s radio station on the segment called "Big Debate's Little Debate" presented by Qasa Alom. We wanted to discuss the demonisation of the British Mirpuri community by other Asians, particularly British-Pakistanis. In this episode, we will be discussing our experience on the radio show; how the media has been demonising the Mirpuri community for, at least, two decades, unwittingly through the anecdotes and factoids of our gatekeepers from the wider British-Pakistani community. In recent years TV programme-makers producing media content about Britain’s Asian communities have taken a keen interest in the Mirpuri community. Their footage is almost entirely drawn from Mirpuri communities, whilst they appropriate the members as British-Pakistanis, any mention of a self-sustaining Mirpuri community is excluded from the ensuing portrayal. Whenever the explicit mention of Mirpuris is made, it is always done negatively. The production companies also rely on popular tropes that have wide circulation within the British Pakistani community as “facts", despite never having scrutinised such “facts", or allowing members of the Mirpuri community to explain their own social issues. We will be talking about the upcoming British Asian Summer programmes on BBC in the month of August. Our next episode will be about BBC's "Lost Boys? what’s gone wrong with Asian men?” documentary aired on the 12th of August 2018.
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